By Steve Ramirez
West Covina High School’s Beejay Lee and Remontay McClain have been the featured local attractions at invitational track and field meets the past few weeks. It will be no different during the San Gabriel Valley Championships, which are scheduled for Saturday at West Covina. The meet, which includes 36 schools, including some of the best athletes in the area, begins at 10 a.m.
The Lee-McClain battle, which includes matchups in the 100 and 200 meters, highlights the fifth annual meet, which also will include sprinters Kylie Price of Bishop Amat and Kalalah Todd of Northview, hurdlers Darien Johnson of Bishop Amat and Bubba Ostrowski of Glendora, distance runners Austin Goodheart and Anthony Castro of Glendora and field athletes Efrain Carillo (discus) of Arroyo and Jared Manke (pole vault) of South Hills.
Lee and McClain are two of the top sprinters in California. Lee had the top time in the state and fifth-fastest in the country when he blistered the track at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays with an impressive 10.61-second 100.
McClain was right behind Lee last week, when he finished second in the 100 at Mt. SAC with a solid 10.74. He also ranks No. 3 in California in the 200 after finishing third at Mt. SAC in an impressive 21.43.
Lee won’t be thinking of the head-to-head competition when the gun sounds for Saturday’s 100.
“I just try to run my race each time,” Lee said. “I don’t worry about what others can do. As long as you beat your own time (and set a personal record), then you are doing pretty well. That’s what I try to do.”
Johnson and Ostrowski have been two of the area’s quicker 110 high hurdlers. Both have eclipsed 15 seconds this year.
Goodheart will be the one to beat in the 800. He is coming off a ninth-place finish at Mt. SAC with a time of 1:57.54.
The girls portion of the meet will be highlighted by Price, who is expected to be in the running for CIF-Southern Section divisional titles in the 200 and long jump. She finished second in the long jump at Mt. SAC with a leap of 18-11/2. She also was fifth in the 200 with a time of 24.82.
Army of three
Dennis Rufus of Charter Oak, Wallace Gonzalez of Bishop Amat and Sioasi Aiono of South Hills will receive nominations for the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
The top 400 senior football players in the country receive nominations before the top 90 get invitations to the annual national All-Star football game. It is scheduled for Jan. 8 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.